Montana-Helena-Montana-State-Capitol-Building-1440x954HB400 requests state funding to support the Double SNAP Dollars (DSD) Program, which helps food-insecure Montanans afford more fresh, local produce by doubling the purchasing power of their SNAP benefits. For every dollar spent on SNAP-eligible foods at participating farmers markets or farm shares, SNAP recipients receive an extra dollar to spend on fresh, local produce.

buy1-get1

HB400 will provide financial stability for DSD and help expand the program to more locations across the state. This will help more Montanans have access to fresh, local foods and boost incomes for hard-working Montana farmers! Here are some of the ways DSD has already made an impact:

  • Since 2015, over 3,000 Montanans used the Double SNAP Dollars program, resulting in $350,000 spent on local foods and increasing farmers’ income.
  • Since the implementation of the program, farmers market SNAP sales in Missoula increased by 13%. Rural markets saw a sales increase of nearly 100%.
  • Daily fruit and vegetable consumption among most surveyed DSD customers increased because of their participation in the program.

MT-capitol-floorSo far, the bill has passed through the House Human Services Committee and its first House floor vote! Next up, it must pass through the House Appropriations Committee, where the bill is awaiting a rescheduled hearing date. You can track its progress through the bill lookup on the Montana Legislature website.

We are excited by all the support HB400 has received so far, but there is still more work to do for it to pass!

Want to help? Contact your representatives and voice your support for HB400! Here’s how:

  1. Find your House Representative at leg.mt.gov/map/
  2. Does your Representative sit on the House Appropriations Committee?
    If yes: Call or Email your Representative and urge him/her to support HB 400, focusing on why this would be a good use of state funds. You can use our Double SNAP Dollars Fact Sheet to come up with your talking points.
    If no: Leave a message or email for the full House Appropriations Committee at leg.mt.gov/web-messaging/. Choose to send your message to a Committee and pick House Appropriations from the dropdown. You can use our Double SNAP Dollars Fact Sheet to come up with your talking points.
  3. Share this blog post with fellow supporters and urge them to contact their Representative!

Interested in learning more about advocacy and how the state legislature works? Check out this Advocacy Toolkit from the Montana Partnership to End Childhood Hunger for some great info on advocating for bills in the 2019 Montana State Legislature Session!